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Paul Ridden

Computers

Software tool allows programs to run faster without sacrificing security

Protecting computer systems from malicious attack using complex software solutions is a constant, but necessary, struggle. As threats become more sophisticated, the technology used to fight them off can impact more and more on system performance. According to researchers from North Carolina State University, programs that have built-in safety features can be slowed down by as much as a 1,000 percent. To combat this issue they have developed technology that helps such programs to run more efficiently without sacrificing effectiveness. Read More

Computers

Third-gen Intel SSD's offer 300 and 600 GB capacities

The fact that Solid State Drives (SSD) offer significantly better performance over hard disk drives is now well established. They're faster, require less power to run and – as they contain no moving parts – offer a more rugged storage solution. At the moment, though, HDD solutions are much cheaper and can store more data on a single device ... but the gaps are closing. Intel has now upped the available storage capacity on its new third generation SSD 320 Series to a spacious 600GB, and has managed to lower the cost by 30 percent.Read More

Music

PianoMaestro guides pianists through the music

Like many people, I once bought myself a digital piano and had every intention of teaching myself to play. However, when faced with a very steep learning curve and the prospect of spending weeks or months learning to play a simple prelude, such thoughts were soon put to bed and the instrument sat in the corner of the room gathering dust. Had I been able to place a PianoMaestro learning system on the keyboard, things could well have been different. PC software translates standard MIDI files into musical notation onscreen, the computer is attached by USB cable to a strip of lights, and that is placed at the back of a full piano keyboard, letting you know which keys need to be pressed when. The system is said to make the learning process quicker and easier and, according to its creator, is just like having your very own teacher with you all the time, but one who has "infinite patience that does not charge by the hour."Read More

Computers

Nexus takes the click out of the computer mouse

The clicking sound we hear when we press a mouse button is part of the device's switching mechanism, that has also become a kind of audible comfort cushion for computer users. However, Dutch component manufacturer Nexus believes that in these days of notebook trackpads and tablet touchscreens, we no longer need the audible confirmation that a requested action has been performed – we can see it onscreen. The company has now discovered some silent switching technology and installed into a couple of its input peripherals, so that they operate without so much as a squeak.Read More

Computers

Foremay announces solid state drive smaller than a quarter coin

Californian SSD manufacturer Foremay has announced a new addition to its OC177 storage family. Despite being smaller than a U.S. quarter coin, the company's first disk-on-chip (DOC) solution will be available in capacities up to 64GB, supporting both standard IDE or SATA host interface, in addition to complying with ATA-7 specifications. The new DOC drive is mounted directly onto a motherboard which, the company says, negates the need for a separate storage drive while offering devices some rugged credentials. Read More

Mobile Technology

Hercules announces new eCAFÉ netbook with 13 hour battery life

The Guillemot Corporation brand Hercules has announced a couple of new 10-inch eCAFÉ netbooks – one less than an inch thick and the other promising at least 13 hours of "real use" battery life. Both feature a low-power processor, run a custom operating system and benefit from solid state storage. They also sport a display which folds into the body, and all physical connectivity options are placed at the sides.Read More

Music

Photon Fuzz guitar pedal uses infrared light to control distortion

Like it or loathe it, fuzz distortion effects units have been an integral part of rock music ever since a Maestro FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone made a guest appearance on Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones. Early fuzz boxes had rather limited scope for shaping tone, but that's something the new Photon Fuzz from Fea Labs certainly doesn't appear to suffer from. The unit gets its name from an active component in the circuit which uses infrared light to control the fuzz distortion element, and features its own octave stage, high, mid and low band EQ controls and internal DIP switch tone tweaking possibilities.Read More

Electronics

World's biggest touchscreen display unveiled at CeBIT

For the last eight years, German presentations specialist Stereolize has been helping Microsoft do its thing at CeBIT, and every year the company tries to top the previous year's efforts. For this year's trade show, the company went super-size – creating 234-inches of diagonal, interactive touchscreen loveliness that towered above the Microsoft presenters and left onlookers having to pick their jaws up off the floor. Read on, to see a short video showing the huge display in action ... Read More

Environment

T-box concept to capture wind energy from trains

As anyone living near railway tracks will tell you, speeding trains generate quite a bit of wind as they whoosh past. Industrial designers Qian Jiang and Alessandro Leonetti Luparini have come up with a device that's installed between the sleepers on a track, and as the train passes overhead, the wind drives a turbine to generate electricity. The T-box devices could be placed along railway or subway lines, and make good use of an otherwise wasted resource.Read More

Mobile Technology

Amazon launches Cloud Drive and Cloud Player

Amazon has announced the U.S. launch of new cloud storage and media playback services that allow users to securely store and access files and music from any web-connected PC or Mac, or Android phone or tablet. Amazon customers start with 5GB of free Cloud Drive storage, with the added sweetener of an additional 20GB of space for music files upon the purchase of an MP3 album from the online store. Stored music can be played from a computer's web browser – whether you're at work, at home or visiting friends or family. More online storage is available via purchase plans.Read More

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